In 2012’s version of Total Recall, the action is based solely on Earth (instead of partially on Mars as in the original).
Earth has suffered from chemical warfare, and there are only two inhabitable places on Earth; the United Federation of Britain (or UFB) and the Colony – which resides in Australia. In order to travel between the two there is a machine called “The Fall”, which travels through the center of the earth back and forth.
The UFB is the place of prosperity and action. It is run by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston). The Colony is not so well off. This is where Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) resides with his wife, Lori (Kate Beckinsale). Quaid works as a factory worker in the UFB building security drones, but he feels he was destined for more. Recently he has been having nightmares about escaping from a building with a beautiful woman (who is not his wife). These nightmares seem extremely real to him.
Quaid is intrigued by a company called Rekall, a company that implants memories directly into the brain. It promises to give you the vacation or memory of a lifetime. Although one buddy tries to warn him away from it, another co-worker highly recommends it, gives him a card, and tells him to ask for McClane (John Cho). After coming home one night to find his wife already in bed after a long day’s work, Quaid decides to pay Rekall a visit. He chooses to have the memory of a secret agent implanted. Things do not go according to plan, however, and Quaid finds out that he actually is a secret agent, although he has no memory of it.
The writers and producers decided to change the story line for this remake of the 1990 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. They kept enough details the same that you will recognize the film, also they throw in several nods to the original film which were entertaining to watch. I, however, did not appreciate the fact that they changed the film so much.
This version seems to rely far more heavily on action, violence, and special effects than the story. Yes, the special effects are a far cry better than the original, but after all it has been 20 some odd years.
I was really looking forward to this version as it has several of my favorite actors in it; those mentioned above plus Jessica Biel and Bill Nighy (although his part was disappointingly brief). Unfortunately I was let down. The actors do a well enough job, but the spirit of the movie just wasn't there. It felt more like the makers were trying to get from one action scene to another without bothering to have a decent plot line in between.
If you are really interested in watching this film I would recommend renting it. Otherwise just skip it altogether, and go buy the original.
This film is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief nudity, and language. I wouldn't want my 10 year old to see this one, but have no problem with my 16 year old watching it.
I rented this film with my own funds.